A friend coming around for supper, somebody who notices dust.
So I have dusted and swept the floors and washed down surfaces and wiped mirrors and shooed the puppies outside. Brought in fresh flowers, canna lilies and strelitzias, polished silver and glass. It ooks perfect to my uncritical eyes. Except that one puppy has carried in a large dripping papaya and there is a trail of shiny pulpy black seeds across the living room carpet. The other puppy has climbed into a large white ceramic bowl on the table and is sitting looking puzzled, with her silky ears pinned back.
My friend is the fastidious type who does not allow her cat on the furniture. Personally I think a small fat puppy in an ornamental bowl on a clean table looks damn cute, but that is me. And last night she chewed up the television remote viewer, so we are stuck for canned entertainment. Not a bad thing.
Of course by the time the guest arrives at the front door with smiles and a growling tummy, the pups will have reduced the house to its usual state of chaos. The truly houseproud of this world tend not to have pets or children.
But for now the surfaces are gleaming and the upholstery nicely brushed and the carpet less of a swamp, so I feel very happy and virtuous. Una is much better today, on antibiotics again but more cheerful. She has bought a brown seed loaf for the smoked salmon.
‘Why is that dog sitting in the white bowl you bought in London because you thought it was Spode and it turned out to be Marks & Spencers circa 1996?’ she asks. ‘You kept insisting it was apple-white china but that was just the green gloom of the shop. Are you teaching the dog to be an object of beauty and a joy for ever?’
The dog sits in the bowl with the look of a dowager who is not sure she put on panties this morning. Such a sweet dog. Now I must go and plunge slivers of garlic and rosemary into the lamb.
Stay sober sweet readers.